Assad agrees to talks, ‘fully commits’ to end violence – Lavrov…

Syria’s President Assad has agreed to talks with the opposition, will follow Arab League’s roadmap increasing the number of observers in the country, including the most hostile areas in Syria.

This follows talks with the Russian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who arrived in Damascus on Tuesday.

As RT’s Egor Piskunov reports from the meeting in Damascus, Moscow will coordinate talks between Assad’s government and the opposition.

Russia will go on working with various Syrian opposition groups in order to prevent further civilian deaths, said Lavrov. The minister called on other countries to urge the opposition to engage in talks.

Syria is also to call a referendum to draw up a new constitution. The brand new constitution will deprive the ruling political party of its monopoly. The date of the referendum will be announced shortly. According to President Assad, the text of the new constitution has already been drafted.

President Assad stands firm in his resolve to stop violence in his country, wherever it should come from, said Lavrov. The parties reaffirmed their readiness to use the Arab League’s initiative to find “a swift way out of the crisis,” he added.

Syria is notifying the Arab League that it is interested in the League continuing its work and increasing the number of observers,” declared Lavrov. The League can make its decision now, but Damascus is definitely giving the green light to such a move.

Moscow has called on the Arab League to preserve and expand its observing mission, dubbing it a crucial stabilizing factor for Syria.

The visit came amid international anger over Russia and China’s veto of what they saw as a “premature” UN Security Council vote.

The UK and US simultaneously withdrew their ambassadors to Damascus Monday, with the UK Foreign Secretary calling President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime “murderous and doomed.” Italy’s Foreign Ministry has allegedly recalled its ambassador from Syria on Tuesday, reports Al Arabia.

The Russian FM dubbed the resolution draft text “one-sided” and international reaction to the veto “hysterical”.

Source: RT
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PS: Now that the western governments are closing embassies or withdrawing ambassadors ‘for talks’, it will be interesting to see if the violence ebbs. If he’s successful, Mr Lavrov will have provided a roadmap for ending the violence in one day. This is more than anyone else has achieved in months…